The immense impact of a car accident can lead to serious injuries – some of which are swift to present with symptoms, such as a broken bone or traumatic brain injury. However, other injuries take more time, such as soft tissue injuries. These types of injuries do not call immediate attention to themselves and tend to be more difficult to diagnose and treat effectively, which means their prognosis can be negatively affected. When it comes to a medical syndrome like fibromyalgia, which is medically connected to trauma, the violent impact of a car accident can be the direct cause. If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia after a car accident, do not wait to reach out and consult with the dedicated Tennessee personal injury attorneys at Labrum Law (615-338-9500) today.
Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that is not understood well, but the medical profession and medical researchers continue to refine its definition and what is known about the painful and sometimes debilitating disease. The Mayo Clinic defines fibromyalgia as a disorder that is characterized by the following:
- Musculoskeletal pain that radiates throughout the body
- Disturbances related to sleep, memory, and mood
- Fatigue and sleep disturbances
As such, fibromyalgia can have both physical and emotional consequences. Medical researchers believe that fibromyalgia affects how the brain and spinal cord communicate painful and non-painful signals and that it amplifies painful sensations in the process. Finally, fibromyalgia is often precipitated by physical and/or psychological trauma, surgery, or infection, and a serious car accident can involve all of these.
Proving Fibromyalgia After Car Accidents
Scientists who study pain and its effects believe that fibromyalgia alters the way a victim's body processes pain signals and can actually turn up the volume of that pain. Even a relatively minor car accident can generate immense impact and can be both terrifying and traumatic. When the accident is more serious, these factors can be amplified considerably, and this trauma can be the direct cause of serious fibromyalgia (even though it may be difficult to identify the disorder and to equate it with the car accident at the time). Connecting the two, though complicated, can be critical to your car accident claim, but the trusted Tennessee personal injury attorneys at Labrum Law have reserves of experience successfully ensuring that victims receive the compensation they deserve.
Is It Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is identified as a medical syndrome rather than a disease, which means that it is comprised of a group of symptoms – rather than standing alone as an established medical condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while recognizing fibromyalgia after a car accident can be a difficult and lengthy process, some of the most common symptoms include:
- Unexplained fatigue
- Widespread stiffness and/or pain
- Stiffness in the morning
- Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia, restless leg syndrome, or sleep apnea
- Increased anxiety and/or bouts of depression
- Difficulty concentrating and other cognitive disturbances
- Numbness and/or tingling in the hands and/or feet
Putting the pieces together when it comes to car accidents and fibromyalgia is often a complicated process, but the truth is that a car accident can lead to fibromyalgia, and this medical fact should not be ignored.
Identifying Fibromyalgia After Car Accidents
While medical professionals used to employ a pain test on 18 specific points of a patient's body to identify fibromyalgia, the Mayo Clinic shares that the American College of Rheumatology now takes a different approach. To obtain a fibromyalgia diagnosis, the patient must experience pain that is widespread throughout the body for a period of at least three months. To meet the requirement of widespread pain, the patient must experience pain in at least four of the following five areas:
- The left upper region of the body, which includes the left arm, shoulder, or jaw
- The right upper region of the body, which includes the right arm, shoulder, or jaw
- The left lower region of the body, which includes the left hip, leg, or buttock
- The right lower region of the body, which includes the right hip, leg, or buttock
- The axial region of the body, which includes the neck, chest, abdomen or back
Treatments for fibromyalgia generally break down into two primary categories that include medications that treat the symptoms and therapies that help reduce the syndrome's overall effects.
The medications used to treat fibromyalgia generally fall into the following categories:
- Pain medications, such as over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Aleve, and others are often advised. Lyrica is a pain medication that is also the first prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat fibromyalgia directly. Due to their close association with dependence, opioids are not recommended for pain related to fibromyalgia.
- There are several antidepressants that can help address both the pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia – in addition to a muscle relaxant that can help promote deeper sleep.
- Certain anti-seizure drugs can be useful for reducing pain, including fibromyalgia pain.
There are specific kinds of therapies that can help those who suffer from fibromyalgia deal more effectively with the syndrome's effects, including:
- Counseling that helps sufferers strengthen their resolve and gain coping skills
- Occupational therapy that helps sufferers adjust their home and work environments to better support their health and well-being
- Physical therapy that teaches sufferers those stretches and other exercises that can help increase their strength, stamina, and flexibility
Reach out to an Experienced Tennessee Car Accident Attorney for Legal Guidance
If another driver's negligence leaves you injured in a car accident, it means that you face challenges ahead. However, if your injuries include fibromyalgia, the situation can be that much more complicated. The accomplished car accident attorneys at Labrum Law in Tennessee are well acquainted with the difficulties posed by fibromyalgia after a car accident, and we are also well positioned to help by skillfully advocating for your rightful compensation. Your claim is important, so please do not put off contacting or calling us at 615-338-9500 for more information today.